Bowens sees return on investment in a flash using JETCAM Expert; CADCAM software update pays for itself in two days

May 21, 2009 - Bowens International are world leading manufacturers of professional photography equipment. Based in Clacton on Sea, Essex, the chassis and components of most of their products are manufactured in-house. In 1997 they purchase a Wiedemann turret punch press, which was supplied with JETCAM Expert. The company let their maintenance contract on the software lapse until 2008, when they were in the process of bringing out a new range of products.

Said Blair Stephenson, Mechanical R&D Engineer; “I started using JETCAM around 2002 after other staff retired and moved on. We'd recently updated to the latest version at the time, which worked very well. After a day’s training I was up and running, and have provided all down-stream training since then.”

As the system was running reliably Bowens let the maintenance contract on the JETCAM software lapse until 2008, when they decided to re-assess their IT infrastructure. Blair added; “At the time we were working on the new product range and looking at ways of streamlining our production processes. We updated our AutoCAD software and upgraded the PCs running the CAD along with JETCAM in the production office. We again took a look at a competing CAM system that had been offered to us several times in the past, but it still looked far too complicated for what we were trying to do, so we decided to update our maintenance contract with JETCAM and upgrade the software to v16.”

An engineer from local JETCAM distributor Press and Shear Ltd went on-site, updated the system and all related geometry files, and provided training. Blair cites the user interface as being the main reason for JETCAM’s ease of use; “JETCAM don't change the interface just for the sake of it. It is intuitive, displaying only the tools I need in relation to the screen I'm in at the time. If I need a member of staff trained I know that I can easily train them myself. Features such as the CAD cleaning automate many procedures, making the system very fast. Also, it’s been a big benefit having Press & Shear supplying and installing the updates for us so that we can concentrate on running the business. We rarely have to call on support, but whenever we have any questions they are answered quickly.”

Since the update Bowens have noticed a number of benefits. By automating various stage of the programming process Blair saved three weeks of his time. “We were halfway through a six week task of programming for the new products when we updated the license. Afterwards I was able to complete the remaining three weeks work in just two days, which immediately paid for the update.” JETCAM’s enhanced sequencing delivered a 10% improvement in machine cycle time by further optimising the cutting path. The software itself ran faster, with features such as double-hit detection taking less time to run. The new finishing cuts function allows for sheet stability to be maintained by specifying when and where the final cut that releases the part should be placed. Common line punching is used on sheets less than 3mm thick to reduce scrap by using a single punch to separate parts rather than leaving a skeleton.

Bowens acknowledge that they are not yet fully utilising the power of v16, but now that the new range is in full production more time is available to dedicate to implementing and training on them. Blair finalised; “At present many of our nests consist of single component arrays, so we want to focus on bringing our material costs down further through more efficient nesting. We can also reduce programming time further by further automating tool placement and by utilising JETCAM’s new tool teach mode. The remnant sheet management facility will also be of benefit to us.”

Benefits Achieved

* Update of software in 2008 paid for itself within 2 days
* Bowens chose to update rather than replace JETCAM, as competing systems still looked too complex
* Machine runtime reduced by 10% through improved sequencing
* Common line punching further reduces material waste
* One button clean up of imported CAD files
* Clear user interface allows for new users to be trained easily in-house
* Minimal support requirement
* Excellent local dealer support, including regular visits
* Further benefits to be seen once Bowens implement new features

System installed:

* JETCAM Expert Premium with Rectangular Automatic Nesting

Machine in use:

* Wiedemann Motorum 2034

For more information contact Martin Bailey, Marketing Manager. Digital images are available to download from (34MB)

About JETCAM International

JETCAM International has been developing and distributing its JETCAM Expert range of CADCAM software since 1986. In use in over 70 countries worldwide, JETCAM Expert software supports virtually every CNC punching, laser, plasma, routing, waterjet and flatbed cutting machine available today, allowing users to program any combination of CNC machines with a single CAM system.

Contact information:

JETCAM International
Terrasses du Port
2 Avenue des Ligures
MC98000 Monaco

Tel: +44 (0)870 760 6469
E-mail: Email Contact

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